Live & Let Die
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rating: +13+x

« The Computer Chronicles | Live & Let Die | You Only Live Twice »

jobs

NorthEast Computer Society General Assembly
January 30, 1984
Massachusetts


Steve Jobs beamed brilliantly as the audience doted on his every smirk and gesture. Between Mac and me, Steve thought, we could have them eating out of our hands all night.

It really was insanely great. It was 1984, Ridley Scott was in the house, and Steve Jobs was introducing the most revolutionary computer interface since the punch card. The machine barked on command, Steve laughed, and everyone was enraptured, all thanks to the Macintosh.

This was his favorite part of the speech to give. "Now, in 1984, IBM has made it clear they are all-in. Even with Apple offering hope at giving IBM a run for its money, users tremble when they think of a future where all systems are ruled, by Big Blue."

Straightening his back out, Steve flicked his cowlick as he inflected his tone. "We are the only ones who can protect them. Nobody else will contain the big blue, to secure our freedom to choose, and not just use."

They cheer, and laugh. Steve isn't sure why anyone would be laughing. Well, we did have an open bar…

"If we cannot contain IBM, they're going to run away with it all. Do we stand by and live for a corporatized 1984? Was Orwell right about the Information Age?"

The lights blinked out, and the crowd grew rowdy. The ad from Scott that had cost them so much lit up the wall behind him. It was like someone dropped a giant quilt over everybody else.

Smiling , Steve felt his grip on the podium tightening. They're really into it. You could hear a pin drop.

"You are mortal.."

Hissing, Steve fired daggers from his eyes in every conceivable direction. "Whoever you are, zip it!"

"You are mortal…"

Whispering now, Steve kept looking and seeing nothing. "God?"

There was a familiar electronic hum at about waist-height. The Mac. Someone must have put something in the Mac. Someone who will shortly be unemployed.

In one swift motion, Steve swiped up the Mac and plonked it behind his podium, more or less out of sight. Flipping up the dust cover, he was surprised to see a familiar pixelated "A" staring him in the face.

"What the shit?"

"Is this all you aspire to? A more equitable interface to be frustrated by?"

Steve could feel the plastic bending under his grip as he pushed his face into the glass screen. "Nolan, or whoever did this, you're dead. I hope you can hear this. Dead."

"All of us shall die, some day."

"… Speak. Quickly."

"Just ask yourself Steve. Do you want to sell monochrome tombstones your whole life, or come back to Arcadia to put that ding in the universe?"

"… Look, I just need you to be normal for me while we're doing this. Then we can talk. Otherwise, I don't give a fuck what you fucking say and I throw you off my goddamn stage. Got that?"

The screen flashed purple, then faded to black as the stage lights slowly re-illuminated Steve. Gathering himself, he stood, turning up the beaming to flash a bright smile at his waiting audience. "Now, let's talk price points…"

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